WASHINGTON — The US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) announced on July 25 the details of the latest $16 billion aid package to help farmers hurt by the ongoing trade tariffs with China and other countries.

The agency said Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments will be made in three tranches over the next six months. President Donald Trump announced a $16 billion authorization of funds back in May and allocated the first MFP program in July 2018. Farmers can sign up for the program beginning on July 29 and ending on Dec. 6.

“Our team at USDA reflected on what worked well and gathered feedback on last year’s program to make this one even stronger and more effective for farmers,” US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said. “Our farmers work hard, are the most productive in the world, and we aim to match their enthusiasm and patriotism as we support them.” 

According to details laid out by the USDA, Hog producers will receive payments based on the number of live hogs owned on a day selected by the producer between April 1 and May 15, 2019. Payments from the MFP are capped at a combined $250,000 for dairy and hog producers.

A part of the farmer assistance will be the $1.4 billion Food Purchase and Distribution Program. The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) estimated it could spend $432 million on poultry, $208 million on pork, $151 on beef and $17 million on lamb.

AMS purchasing will occur in four phases starting after Oct. 1, 2019 with deliveries beginning in Jan. 2020.

Last week, the USDA awarded $100 million to 48 organizations through the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program including more than $27 million to US Meat Export Federation.